Businesses are struggling to find an efficient mechanism to affect their employees’ work efficiency and increase engagement. Teams with high engagement levels are 21% more productive than their disengaged colleagues according to Gallup

To boost employee engagement, companies’ HR departments are looking for tools that would help them boost employee engagement and, as a result, productivity.

However, 65% of HR managers say technology tools they are using don’t live up to expectations in achieving the HR-related goals, according to Deloitte.

Qoreboard, a US-based tech startup, set a goal of changing the status quo launching a tool based on the methodology of Microgoals℠, achievable hourly and daily activities. With the tool, employees and managers get a direct impact on improving their productivity.

For employees, the tool takes stress off dealing with huge tasks by applying Microgoals℠. Managers, in turn, are supported with data on employee performance, which helps shape individualized coaching programs and increase employee work engagement.

To make the process of using the tool easy and enjoyable for Qoreboard clients, the Founder of Qoreboard, Mike Midgett, set on a track to increase the tool’s intuitiveness and general aesthetics.

He approached Neoteric to augment his tech team’s capability in terms of front-end, UX and UI. I talked to Mike about the process of selecting a tech partner for this task. 

Margo Ovsiienko: What was the challenge you faced in Qoreboard before reaching out to Neoteric?

Mike Midgett: We are a startup company that is growing fast. Recruiting takes time and we needed a partner that could help us increase our development capacity quickly. 

So my CTO started looking for an outsourcing solution and using Google and reaching out to his network, he saw a number of reviews for Neoteric. He saw that there were good results and positive reviews of Neoteric and that’s when he added Neoteric to the list of companies that we interviewed.

Ultimately, we were looking for scalable, agile development of our tool, looking for somebody who could take on certain parts of our tool. We do dashboards and performance management and our team was very good at the back-end, but we hadn’t hired a full-time UX talent at the time. 

And so we were looking for somebody who would partner with us to help us develop a version 2.0 of our dashboard that was a little bit more cutting-edge. We ended up finding Neoteric just basically through Google and ended up doing interviews with you. We’re very happy with what we heard.

Did you have some other countries on your list, other outsourcing destinations like China, South America or Eastern Europe?

Mike Midgett: We did. The final group that we were talking to was China, India, and Poland. We did talk to a group in Pakistan. We had multiple countries that we were looking at when we made the decision with Poland.

What was the main factor that made you look into Poland instead of other outsourcing destinations?

Mike Midgett: The primary thing was quality of code. Our tech team talked to your tech team. I think they actually talked to some developers and in the discussions, there was really no comparison in the knowledge of what we were trying to build and the code we were using. 

A lot of people said they could do what we needed. But I think my tech team interviewing them wasn’t so confident that they could do what we needed them to do. And we had a couple of bad experiences with third-party vendors building code for us.

We worked with a group in India who got really poor communication, not a lot of overlap with us, and we struggled every single day to have any conversation with them to say. 

They were doing it wrong. And we felt there was a little bit more overlap with Poland and Neoteric, and at least you were willing to have conversations with us and overlap a little bit more because we thought that was an important component. But ultimately it came down to the quality of the code and the knowledge of people that we spoke to.

You’ve already mentioned the communication factor as a crucial element of arranging work in different time zones. How did you experience this communication aspect with Neoteric in the beginning? 

Mike Midgett: Yeah, that’s been one of the best things about our partnership with Neoteric – communication and planning. The teams talk every single day to have very quick standups.

They talk about what was accomplished, what was not accomplished, where the blockers are and it allows my team to dive in and either redirect or to have a conversation with them to try and help overcome those blockers. And so the communication has been very good. It’s between our groups.

What end product did you want to see in terms of the design and front-end elements?

Mike Midgett: We had a product from the very beginning that was put together pretty quickly. We were looking for someone to design something that was a little bit more pleasing to the eye, and I think your UI designer did a really good job in developing a very good-looking dashboard. 

We were not sure that all the things that that person designed would actually be able to be built into the system.

But I think that the coordination between your designer and your development team was really good because we’re actually seeing something that looks very similar to what he designed, that it’s all functional. We’re very excited about that. 

Again, I think the biggest surprise to us was the fact that we did not believe everything that was shown to us during the design phase was going to be created. And it looks like it will be. So we’re excited about that.

What is the main value that you see in working with us?

Mike Midgett: Scalability.  We hope that we can build a longer-term partnership with Neoteric and continue to have opportunities to scale up our partnership as we grow and add more users. Having a trusted partner who understands our product and understands how our tech works is an important thing, and we hope to grow this partnership over time.